Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

In vivo quantification of hypoxic and metabolic status of NSCLC tumors using [18F]HX4 and [18F]FDG-PET/CT imaging.

PMID 25316821


Increased tumor metabolism and hypoxia are related to poor prognosis in solid tumors, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). PET imaging is a noninvasive technique that is frequently used to visualize and quantify tumor metabolism and hypoxia. The aim of this study was to perform an extensive comparison of tumor metabolism using 2[(18)F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG)-PET and hypoxia using HX4-PET imaging. FDG- and HX4-PET/CT images of 25 patients with NSCLC were coregistered. At a global tumor level, HX4 and FDG parameters were extracted from the gross tumor volume (GTV). The HX4 high-fraction (HX4-HF) and HX4 high-volume (HX4-HV) were defined using a tumor-to-blood ratio > 1.4. For FDG high-fraction (FDG-HF) and FDG high-volume (FDG-HV), a standardized uptake value (SUV) > 50% of SUVmax was used. We evaluated the spatial correlation between HX4 and FDG uptake within the tumor, to quantify the (mis)match between volumes with a high FDG and high HX4 uptake. At a tumor level, significant correlations were observed between FDG and HX4 parameters. For the primary GTV, the HX4-HF was three times smaller compared with the FDG-HF. In 53% of the primary lesions, less than 1 cm(3) of the HX4-HV was outside the FDG-HV; for 37%, this volume was 1.9 to 12 cm(3). Remarkably, a distinct uptake pattern was observed in 11%, with large hypoxic volumes localized outside the FDG-HV. Hypoxic tumor volumes are smaller than metabolic active volumes. Approximately half of the lesions showed a good spatial correlation between the PET tracers. In the other cases, a (partial) mismatch was observed. The addition of HX4-PET imaging has the potential to individualize patient treatment.

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